Do I Have A Right To My Unpaid Bonus In Manhattan, NY?
In Manhattan, there are number of common law and statutory grounds on which a discharged employee may be entitled to obtain his or her unpaid bonus, either in proportion to the portion of the year in which he worked or in its entirety.
In Manhattan, viable claims for unpaid bonuses are generally based on one of three theories.
First, there is a written agreement to pay a bonus.
Second, there was an oral agreement to pay an annual bonus that was made at the beginning of the employment relationship, and the bonus constitutes an integral part of the plaintiff’s compensation package. To be enforceable, an oral agreement need not specify the exact amount of the promised bonus payments. Rather, if there exists a reasonable basis for calculating the bonus due an employee, a court may enforce the oral contract term.
For example, an employer’s alleged oral promise, to a government securities broker, that he would receive an annual bonus that would be “‘substantial’” in proportion to his base salary, may be enforceable.
Third, an implied contractual relationship may be established by the conduct of the parties. Thus, Manhattan State appellate and trial courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and federal district courts sitting in Manhattan have determined, in many lawsuits by professionals in the financial industry or in other fields, that the course of dealing between the employer and the employee evinces an implied promise that annual or semi-annual bonus payments are a part of the employee’s compensation.
So, for example, where an investment banker has been employed by his brokerage firm for ten years, and every year he has received a substantial, annual bonus, that course of conduct may give rise to an implied contract that the banker will continue to receive such bonuses.
In any successful action for an unpaid bonus, the employee is entitled not only to the amount of the unpaid bonus but also to additional damages equal to 100% of the unpaid bonus, interest at the 9% statutory interest rate, and recovery of reasonable attorney’s fees.
If you are an executive or a professional in the Manhattan, NY metro area and you believe you’ve been denied bonuses, commissions, salary, or other wages that are owed to you, call Manhattan Unpaid Bonuses Litigation Attorney David S. Rich at (347) 941-0760 today.
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